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Love Bugs
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Valentine's Day Crafts Friday Fun Gifts for Mom

Love Bugs

What you will make:

Here's a craft that is great for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day or any other gift-giving occasion. Children of all ages, even as young as two, will enjoy making these love bugs as pins or magnets.

This project is great for family, classroom or group craft time. For a quick and easy group craft, mold the love bugs in advance.

Related craft: It's easy to make a pin or brooch using candy molds and plaster. See how in the Valentine's Day Pins project.

Here's what you need:
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Plastic spoons and knives
  • Plastic cup for mixing plaster of Paris
  • Jewelry pin backs or magnets
  • Wiggly eyes
  • Paints, non-toxic for children
  • Paintbrushes or cotton swabs
  • Clear glaze or clear spray paint
  • Newspaper or wax paper
  • Optional: Silk flowers or small potted plant

This project is rated VERY EASY to do.

How to Make Love Bug Pins and Magnets

Read all of the steps before starting.
Step 1: Project Preparation

Read through the project then gather the materials needed for making love bugs. When doing this craft with a group, mold the love bugs and set the pin backs or magnets in advance. It takes several hours for the plaster of Paris to be dry enough to paint. Cover the work area with newspaper or wax paper to catch drips and splatters.

Step 2: Mold Love Bugs

Lay out plastic spoons on the newspaper or wax paper—one for each love bug. Your child can do this while you mix the plaster of Paris.

Pour plaster into the well of each spoon and level with a plastic knife. Let the plaster stand for a few minutes, and then press a pin back or a magnet into the plaster. Let the plaster dry completely.

Tip: Use leftover plaster of Paris to make 3-D dots that can be added to love bugs painted like ladybugs or beetles.

Step 3: Unmold

Pop the love bug from the spoon by pressing the outer edges of the spoon. Use a plastic knife to smooth any rough edges on the love bug.

Step 4: Paint

Paint the love bugs with any color paints. They can be painted to look like ladybugs, or something silly and weird. Have small children paint with cotton swabs and older ones with brushes.

Tip: Love bugs can be painted any way you like. Try a mix of colors for a mottled look, or perhaps paint some stripes.

Step 5: Finish

After the kids are done painting, while the paint is still wet, place two wiggly eyes on each love bug. (You can place them on later, but glue will be required.)

When the paint is dry, have an adult spray the love bugs with an acrylic sealant. This will keep the paint from rubbing off.

Step 6: Make a Gift

When completely dry, place pin-backed love bugs on a silk flower, or use real flowers and pin them to the floral paper. Place magnet love bugs in a potted plant and give it to someone special.

Tip: Attach a magnet love bug to a potted plant by placing a steel washer on the opposite side of the leaf from the love bug.

That's it! Your love bug is done!
Attach love bugs to flowers and give as a gift

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Before you start:
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

Are you ready?
Okay, get started!!!

Attach love bugs to flowers and give as a gift

Tip: Love bugs make terrific gifts and look really cute attached to flowers or plants.

This love bug is pinned to Aunt Annie's Paper Flowers.

Thanks to...

Thanks to Heather H. for sharing this craft idea with Aunt Annie's Craft Exchange back in 1997.

Heather commented, "My two-year-old really enjoyed this craft. He gave love bugs to his grandparents and teacher. They really loved getting something handmade and a fresh flower. These make great gifts for Valentine's Day. "

Related Project

Simple heart shaped pins painted with red and white

Tip: Make heart-shaped Valentine's Day Pins  using plastic candy molds.

Love bugs with 3-D dots

Tip: Make 3-D dots with leftover plaster of Paris, paint the dots black, and glue them to love bugs.

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